Baked Ziti Heaven

Well, technically, this is Baked Penne, but it’s the same concept:  Yummy, melty, Italian-inspired goodness.  This recipe was created by the very talented Allison Rivers Samson, a vegan alchemist!  It originally appeared as part of the wonderful column that she used to write for VegNews called “Veganize It,” specifically the May/June 2009 issue.  If you don’t happen to have that issue sitting around, you’re in luck – all of her Veganize It recipes are on her website.  Every single one that I’ve ever made has been delicious, so I urge you to spend some time exploring.  In addition, this is the same Allison of Allison’s Gourmet fame, maker of wonderful sweets to enjoy and give as gifts.  Mint patties and fudge and cookies and salted caramels – oh my!

There are a few components to this dish.  First, you will combine cooked penne with a tomato sauce.  I made the sauce in Allison’s recipe, because it is just perfect with this recipe, but if you’re in a hurry, you can substitute a jarred sauce.  I would suggest looking for one that is simple in its flavors and a bit on the thick side.

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Another component is the divine macadamia nut ricotta.  It is light and fluffy and truly fabulous.  I use it in other dishes where a dose of ricotta would be nice, so it’s great to have in your repertoire.  If you have a nut allergy, however, you could use a tofu-based ricotta, but it won’t be quite as light and will be missing the hint of sweetness that the nuts impart.

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The final component is Allison’s cashew cream.  Yum!  It has a nice acidity that balances the sweetness of the tomatoes and the macadamia nuts.  Delicious.

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Mix them all together and what do you have?  Magic!!!

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Here is the complete recipe:  http://blog.allisonsgourmet.com/2013/03/11/saucy-cheesy-vegan-baked-ziti/

Enjoy!  xo

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